“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
~ John 16:33 NIV
I’ve looked, but I’ve yet to find it.
That profound verse in Scripture that reassure us that we will live perfect lives here on earth, free from any conflict. This dreamy ideal hasn’t lined any page of the Bible. If it did, I’d have these words tattooed along my arm, and I’m not a tattoo-type of gal. But for this type of promise, I’d ink away any part of my body, because I long for a trouble-free life.
We all do.
I imagine this is why Jesus spelled out John 16:33 so clearly, because our Father desires for us to feel His peace, but this benefit hinges on how we believe.
That desire for an uncomplicated life is in us for a reason. You probably already know this, but as believers, we were originally designed for perfection.
No wonder we long for picture-perfect things.
From what I’ve read in Genesis, God created the human race from the dust of the earth, and plopped us down in the midst of lush garden that produced “trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit” (Genesis 2:9) watered by a river flowing from the land of Eden, which produced the purest of gold (Genesis 2:10-11).
Can you see it?
This luxurious garden was watered by a river dotted with gold.
Sweet survivor, how majestic would it be to swim in this picturesque river?
Then sin darkened our land that day Eve did the thing you know each of us would have tried at some point. And until He takes us home, our job is to find the only true tranquility the Lord has to offer.
And here’s the good news: serenity is available!
It just takes diligence on our part to focus on the truth. In fact, Jesus starts off our powerful verse by talking to His favorite friends, the disciples, saying:
“I have told you these things, so that in me
you may have peace.”
The “may” in this sentence means, calmness is an option with Christ, but it hinges on the choices we make with our time.
He wrote the next series of words far more concrete.
“In. This. World. You. Will. Have. Trouble.”
I added caps, periods, and italics for effect, mainly to slow us down to read each word so we’re not surprised the next time we hit a bump. Friends, Jesus Himself said cruddy times will one day smack us in the face. The question isn’t if we face hardship, it’s when, and how we react when crisis occurs?
In fear, or in faith?
Choosing to trust God when the CT scan returns with odd spots; when the supposedly more accurate PET scan shows lymph nodes lit underneath your arm, potentially a marker for cancer; or when the constricting in your chest won’t subside and every test your doctor runs returns inconclusive?
All of these strange examples happened to me, and yet none of these fearful moments returned life-threatening. Mind you, I have had my fair-share of bad results, but in these instances listed, I lost weeks of my life worrying some sickness would finally do me in.
But I’m still here.
And guess what?
So. Are. You.
No one is promised a pain-free life in this broken world, but He does hand out the option to embrace peace. This is why the next sentence is so significant.
“But take heart!”
Oh, please pause for a second recognize that anytime an exclamation mark lines Scripture, we should make a note of it. The enthusiasm is there for a reason, and the “take heart” means something along the lines of:
“Wrap your heart with My hope that this uncomfortableness surrounding you is temporary. Don’t. Give. Up. Search for Me. Find Me. Because in My presence there is a fresh empowerment of peace that will wash over you when you keep your focus steady. It’s peace I promise.”
Our Savior reassures us of the importance of putting guardrails around the very organ that breaks the most. He knows trouble looms on earth, but for believers, there’s a different type of barrier we can build. It’s a supernatural protection unlike any other. Yes, difficulty may come, but when we focus on Him, peace like a soothing river can shield us as He fights our battles.
Some of the most powerful words spoken from Christ’s lips tell us how to tap into true peace.
It’s in Him.
Nothing more, nothing less.
He is the golden ticket. We can worry over the misfortune we’re facing, or remind ourselves of His promise at the end of this verse,
“I. Have. Overcome. This. World.”
More periods and caps, because each word is imperative. Let this beautiful promise sink in.
Trouble may walk through the door at some point, and maybe even today you may feel like you could implode from the pressure. But remember this.
Your heart is still beating.
There is breath in your lungs, even if it’s artificial kind.
And if your eyes can read these words, wipe them, and say, “Lord, I know You have overcome this world, and I believe that peace is available when I’m seeking You.”
What did the Lord reveal to you today?
Pray and ask Him the next steps you should take today.
“Worry is a Conversation You have with Yourself about things You cannot Change.
Prayer is a Conversation You have with God about things He Can Change.”
~ Author Unknown
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world
gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
~ John 14:27 NLT
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 4:7 NLT
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are
eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”
~ Philippians 3:20 NLT
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
~Romans 12:2 NLT
“And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ
we are heirs of God’s glory.”
~ Romans 8:17NLT
“(We are) living between two gardens.”
“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.“
~ Revelation 22:1-5 NLT
Only 3 more devo posts to go. : )
In His hands,
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